ADVENTURES IN ADVAITA VEDANTA...


Adventures in Advaita Vedanta, the philosophy and science of spirit. We are one you and I; are you curious why?..

THE ADVENTURE

HARI OM!
Here is a place to linger, to let your intellect roam. Aatmaavrajanam is being written as a progressive study and, as such, can be read like a book. Anyone arriving at any time can simply start at the very first post and work their way through at their own pace. Please take time to read the info tabs and ensure you don't miss a post, by subscribing to the blog. Interaction is welcomed. Don't be a spectator - be a participator!

Freedom

Hari Om
Each 'Choose-day' we will investigate the process by which we can reassess our activity and interaction with the world of plurality and become more congruent within our personality.

The next text which will guide the Choose-day posts is "Tips for Happy Living - jIvnsUÇai[ /jiivanasuutraani", by Swami Tejomayananda (Guru-ji). Choose-days writings are here to prompt deeper thinking on the choices made on a daily basis and seek to provide prompts for raising the standard of one's thinking and living. This text composed in format of Sanskrit traditional teachings, speaks directly to this purpose. As ever, the full text may be obtained from CM Publications - or your local centre (see sidebar).

Chapter two asks us to think about performing to our potential. Why? For the simple reason that mankind is the only animal species on the planet which has been granted the ability to even consider this possibility. The very fact that we are sitting here reading this text proves this. The self-awareness and the knowledge of our own mortality ensures that we seek ways to live life better. To be born human is a most special thing. Moving along, we now see what the freedoms are that we humans enjoy.

AÇ kmR}aneCDaidSvatNÇ(muplBxm!.3.
Atra karma-jnaanechccha-adi-svaatantryam-upalabdham. ||3||
Here, freedom of action, knowledge, desire and so on, is available.

Quite simply, our physique permits maximum ability to traverse the environs of earth and to adapt to many conditions; we have the intellectual prowess accompanied by self-awareness and knowledge and understanding of mortality, which drives desires to make the best of the life given and to get from what experiences we can. Let us look a little more closely.

Freedom of Movement.
an inert object cannot move by its own will. Stones are stuck where they are (other than by exceptional circumstances, natural or otherwise), for there is no semblance of consciousness within them - energy yes, but awareness, none. Plants have at least very limited movement in order to grow, flourish and then revert to the ground material. Their responses are not cognitive, but purely chemical. Animal species are anchored to their territory; depending how far up the chain of evolution they are, that territory may be quite large, but the remain wholly dependent upon that environment and, whilst some adaptation may be present, it remains limited. The higher up the chain, the more there is certainly cognitive function and, research is demonstrating, there may even be some level of retained memory, self-awareness and knowledge of death in a few species; but it nothing to rival that held by the human species. Mankind has even learned, thus far, to move in space, away from the gravity of the home planet.

Speech.
Communication is another factor. Rocks and plants form no communicative bond. Animal species are again limited by development of their respective physical equipment. Humans alone, though, have developed control over the sounds emitted to the extent of language as we know it and are reading it right at this moment. It is said that animals also have 'language'; if we have pets we are inclined to talk to them and trust that they understand all that we say… but the hard truth is that they do not, in terms of language. The certainly understand our body emotions and body signals and this can create the illusion. There is communication, but it is actually working at the non-verbal level.

Survival.
This relates to Man's ability to adapt to just about any environment - even the cold vacuum of space. All other creatures on this planet are tied to it and the environment in which they evolved. Some so very much so, that with those environs often being compromised, there are species which can no longer survive and thus they face extinction.

Choice.
The very subject of our Choose-day posts! Of all the critters on Earth, Mankind has the ultimate freedom of choice. Stones and plants have no cognitive function so the subject of choice is irrelevant. Among animals 'choice' is tied only to instinct. Even amongst the most high-functioning species there is no avoiding the fact that their lives are driven by the need to eat, procreate, sleep then do it all again. There is no desire beyond this. If at all there is 'choice' for them, it lies only between whether to start eating their prey from the middle or the end. Mankind, although driven by all the same instincts which are hard-wired in the physical body, has developed intellect and intellect allows for possibilities, for assessment… for choice. Something can be done; something can not be done; or that something can be done differently from how another of the species might do it. A cat knows only eat meat. A human may eat meat, but may also choose to stick to vegetarian, vegan, or dairy diet. Effort is made according to choice and choice is made based upon information gathered.

Freedom of Action - a birth-right.
We learn, it is hoped, that with freedom comes responsibility. If we eat or drink to excess, there is a consequence. If we learn from this we can avoid that consequence. Therefore freedom also means being controlled. Understanding just how much freedom can be applied in any circumstance. Freedom is not a license to live without boundaries of decency, or to endanger others and so forth. Freedom does not mean to live outside laws and controls. It does mean that we can make the most of life whilst taking into account all such restraints. Freedom is the independence each human being has to make decisions and if this is done well, to fullest potential, much can be achieved!




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Hari OM
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